Fallen Angels

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Blood ... Terror ...and Insanity are 3 words you can use to explain Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers. It recalls the Vietnam War through the eyes of Richard Perry, an African-American soldier. Perry goes through a lot of changes and sees some of his good friends die in battle fighting for a cause that no one could agree upon. The book has 4 other main characters, Lobel, Johnson, Brunner, and Peewee. Myers' Fallen Angels takes a dive into the harsh reality of modern war. The realistic depictions of various events in the war and the thoughts of the narrator, Perry, and other characters show an immense change in their approach to the war.

Perry is 17 and on his way to Vietnam, a new place, a new life, a whole new world. He volunteered to serve his country. The main reason for this was because he wanted to escape his depressed and alcoholic mother who spent most of her salary on her drinking habit. Thinking of his home in Harlem, and his family, though, Perry has second thoughts.

His best friend, Peewee becomes instant friends with each other when they meet in the barracks. Peewee helps Perry by standing up for him during several disputes. The horridness of the war nearly overwhelms him. Death comes knocking at his door, day after day, night after night. He endures the same food every day, with little sleep and hordes of mosquitoes. Only the support of friends and the safety of his gun beside him comfort him. He knows what he wants - to go home.

Richie is wounded in a battle but unfortunately the wound is not bad enough to send him home. So he is transferred to a hospital. During the peaceful weeks spent recuperating, he begins to remember the joys of safety and gains a new sense of the horrors of war. When he is declared healthy and ordered to rejoin his unit, he wonders how he can possibly go back into combat and considers deserting the army. In the end, though, he rejoins his unit as ordered.

So he returns to the same hot, muggy place, and insanity...
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